Quick and Easy Surveys

Written by Donna Boucher

Donna has been a teacher, math instructional coach, interventionist, and curriculum coordinator. A frequent speaker at state and national conferences, she shares her love for math with a worldwide audience through her website, Math Coach’s Corner. Donna is also the co-author of Guided Math Workshop.

Mini Lessons for Math Practice

The idea of Quick Surveys comes from the book Minilessons for Math Practice, Grades K-2. Graphs are great tools for exploring many number concepts: addition, subtraction, counting, comparison (greater than, less than, equal), and when they are based on student interests, they make math more engaging. I can’t take credit for the graphing method shown in the picture below (I found it on Pinterest), but I LOVE it! I like the simplicity of it and how it’s such a great visual representation for comparing. It could be easily adapted for other than “yes” and “no” questions. The book, for example, uses things like  “shoelaces” and “no shoelaces” as the column headings. Just put your headings on index cards and tape them over the “yes” and “no” headings. As kiddos come in the room, they take their clothespin (see the names on them?) and respond to the survey. The discussion about the survey could take place during a math warm-up later in the day. And your first question should always be What do you notice? or What can you say about the graph? Think of all the responses that could be generated from this graph:

  1. More people like gingerbread
  2. Fewer people don’t like gingerbread
  3. Gingerbread got the most votes
  4. 17 kids voted total
  5. 7 more kids voted that they liked gingerbread
  6. 12 kids like gingerbread
  7. There are 19 in our class, but only 17 voted; 2 kids didn’t vote

I made this simple little form so the kids can move their concrete learning (clothespins on the graph) to representational learning. They could also use the form to write their own questions and poll their classmates. Click on the picture to download your copy for free.

Here’s another version of the graph. This one is half-page and goes to 25. It also has a second page that is blank instead of saying “yes” and “no”, so it’s more flexible.

25 Comments

    • Donna Boucher

      My pleasure, Elizabeth. 🙂

      Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Try again! I just fixed the share setting.

      Reply
  1. Amy Henchey

    I love this! I am also unable to get the google docs link to work it says it is “not found”. Could you possibly email it to me?
    Thanks!
    Amy
    [email protected]

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Should be “found” now. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Laura

    ditto on the google docs issue. “Not Found Error 404”. We started back to school yesterday I can’t wait to use this with the kids!

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Thanks for the heads up, guys! I hadn’t “shared” the document. Oops. It’s fixed now—please try again! Sorry for the trouble.

      Reply
  3. Corinna

    Wow! I’ve always done lots of graphing during my calendar time, but this is such a clever way to make it quick and easy! Love it!

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      I know! We’ve traditionally used pocket charts, but I like this so much better.

      Reply
  4. Wintaka

    Your clothes pin graph idea is great. I have 25 children in my class and wondered if you could create a recording sheet with more than 22 spaces?
    If you could tell me where to get the cute border, I could try and recreate one with 25 spaces.
    Thanks,
    Terry
    [email protected]

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Great idea! Check back up in the post…I updated it and included an additional version. 🙂

      Reply
  5. Anonymous

    I’m moving up from 1st grade 3rd grade this year. I always had my students do a graphing question that we would discuss. Do you think this is something 3rd graders need to continue doing?? If so what types of graphs or do you have an ideas?

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Absolutely! Graphing is important at all grade levels. You can make the questions a little more complex, with more than just two options. You can also have them practice double bar graphs by using different color clothespins for the boys and girls.

      Reply
  6. luckeyfrog

    Thanks for the freebies!

    Jenny

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      You’re quite welcome!

      Reply
  7. Sue Anderson

    Great ideas for graphing. Thank you for sharing your ideas.

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      You’re welcome, Sue! I love having the opportunity to share!

      Reply
  8. Amy (Littlest Superheroes)

    I love incorporating graphing! I have a graphing template that works for any class size that is free in my store, but it is meant more for one question that is done as a class. I’ll be very glad to supplement my graphing instruction with your template, because it allows students to make their own questions. 🙂

    Reply
  9. Amy Murry

    Hi, Donna! I’ve found your blog (love it!!!) when I was a math coach and now I’m back in the classroom. I love these surveys but I’m wondering if you know of a similar book for intermediate grades. Thanks! = )

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Actually, yes, Amy! There is a 3-5 version.

      Reply
      • Amy Murry

        Thank you! I should’ve checked before replying…I found it and ordered it shortly after asking you earlier. Haha!

        Reply
  10. Heather Rigatti

    Thank you, Donna, for your blog and millions of posts about relevant math topics and deep thinking. I have followed your for a while and continue to grab nuggets of new learning all the time. As far as this post goes, though, I have a question. The numbers for the scale along the left side are in the spaces. However, when students get older and are the ones making or labeling the vertical axis, we’ll want them to label the lines, or tick marks, along the axis, not the spaces. Do you think that it is okay to do it like this in grade 1? Will it shift to grade 2 or 3 where they might label the scales themselves? What do you think?

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Heather, I agree that the number should align with the lines, not the spaces. I think in grade 1, they are making the connection to the fact that they have colored one space. Does that make sense? they are numbering the spaces they have colored.

      Reply
  11. Loralee

    Thank you, Donna.

    Reply

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